Lenovo Vibe Shot hands-on: the point-and-shoot smartphone
Lenovo has come to Mobile World Congress 2015 to reveal a host of new devices, but there's one of them that particularly stands out for us - the Lenovo Vibe Shot. Technically, it's a smartphone, but there's a twist to it: a heavy focus on the camera, making it а surprisingly promising proposition for the cameraphone market. If you take a look at the back side of the Vibe Shot, you'll find its stylush back cover resembling a nice point-and-shoot camera. Read on for our first impressions of this interesting newcomer!
The materials from which the Lenovo Vibe Shot is constructed, as well as its looks, are decidedly above average. Its in-hand feel is also reassuringly satisfying, due to its easily pocketable size and relatively light weight.
A 5" IPS panel is gracing the front of the Vibe Shot. The reasonable size, plus the seemingly high-quality of the display panel make for a pleasant viewing experience - one that will complement the look of the camera viewfinder quite well. The resolution is 1080 x 1920 pixels, so you can imagine that legibility is going to be more than satisfying (400+ ppi). What's more, everything is supposed to remain nice and clean from scratches, since both the front and rear are protected by Gorilla Glass 3 pieces.
The software interface that Lenovo has running on the Vibe Shot is a bit of a strange story. Thankfully, the phone is going to ship with Android 5 Lollipop out of the box, but the UI that's going to be initially available is more of a Lenovo thing. It's a heavily skinned version of the OS, so there aren't too many resemblances to the stock UI. However, Lenovo reassures that they are working on drastically altering the experience of their phones in the near future (the Vibe Shot included), aiming to make it much more Motorola-like, meaning very clean, light, and generally close to stock. Future Vibe Shot owners are said to receive OTA updates supposed to gradually transform the software UI towards the promised, cleaner one.
Processor and Memory
As far as hardware goes, the Lenovo Vibe Shot is a decided upper mid-ranger. It's equipped with a pretty decent Snapdragon 615 chipset, complete with an octa-core 1.7 GHz CPU and the Adreno 405 GPU. The chipset is complemented by 3 GB or RAM, while the built-in memory is set at the healthy 32 GB, with an available storage expansion option via a microSD card (up to 128 GB).
That configuration should be more than adequate to keep the handset running snappily and fluidly, without being too ambitions in its capabilities. For general use, it should definitely suffice.
Obviously, the camera's going to be the main standout feature of the Lenovo Vibe Shot. After all, the whole handset is centered around delivering a great camera experience, so we're really hopeful that the sensor and optics used by Lenovo here are going to live up to the expectations. From the bold exterior presentation, to the dedicated 'Smart / Pro' button for changing the camera mode, the Vibe Shot makes it clear that it's not just another Android smartphone right away. Specifically, it sports a 16 MP camera sensor, while the tri-color LED flash seems to be a neat addition. What's more, the Vibe Shot doesn't omit welcome specialized features such as optical image stabilization and infra-red autofocus. Meanwhile, there's a trendy 8 MP camera on the front, which, we guess, sounds promising to frequent selfie makers.
So, what the mentioned 'Smart / Pro' switch does is to change the look of the camera application, determining the amount of options and settings you're able to access. Obviously, the Pro mode allows for much deeper control over the photo-taking capabilities, as opposed to the Smart mode, which is mostly an intelligent auto mode, in which the handset tries to determine the correct settings based on what you've pointed the camera at.
It's too early to talk about the camera samples quality, but the Lenovo Vibe Shot does get our hopes high that it's going to present camera aficionados with an excellent experience. It's just seems to be pretty well made, not to mention the nicely executed dedicated camera shutter key on the site.
The Lenovo Vibe Shot is a promising smartphone that, if executed correctly in terms of camera performance and quality, may find success in the lucrative camera phone segment. It definitely has the features! It begins with a high resolution camera sensor, continues with appropriate design, as well as dedicated camera shutter key, and ends with additional extras such as the infra-red autofocus and Smart / Pro switch for extended camera versatility. The only thing left for the Vibe Shot is to actually be capable of producing great-looking photos.
Meanwhile, Lenovo's new endeavor also looks like a pretty well balanced smartphone, providing access to a high-resolution, 1080p 5-inch display, the speedy Snapdragon 615 processor and a healthy amount of internal storage. Look for the Lenovo Vibe Shot in stores starting in June, where it should be available at the reasonable off-contract price of $349.